AK Momen
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Momen. Image credit - en.prothomalo.com

Within hours of the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), Bangladesh fired a salvo at New Delhi claiming that the 19.7 lakh excluded people are “not Bangladeshis”.

Assam’s final updated NRC came out on Saturday with exclusion of 19,06,657 names.

The 1951 NRC has been updated in Assam to identify foreigners, who illegally entered the State after March 24, 1971 midnight, mostly from Bangladesh.

A media report quoted Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen as talking to a national news channel based in India, said, “Under no circumstances, Bangladesh would be affected.”

Also read: Assam gets its updated NRC…finally; 19,06,657 excluded from final list

Momen said he was informed by India’s External Affairs Minister Dr Subramanian Jaishankar that “this is purely an internal issue of India and Bangladesh doesn’t need to worry about it.”

When questioned whether the names of people excluded from the NRC were from Bangladesh, Momen reportedly said, “I don’t think so. Because, if there is any Bangladeshi, they might have gone before 1947 or before 1971.”

Also read: NRC final list: Who said what?

“So, they have been living there (Assam) for years. We don’t think they are Bangladeshis,” the report quoted Momen as saying.

It may be mentioned that the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) started the Assam Movement in 1979, which continued till 1985, demanding expulsion of illegal migrants, mostly Bangladeshis, from Assam.

Also read: Meghalaya sounds high alert post NRC release in Assam

The Assam Accord was signed between the Central government and the AASU in 1985, where March 24, 1971 was decided as the cut-off date for identifying and deporting illegal foreigners from the State.

Updating of the 1951 NRC was one of the main issues of the Assam Accord.

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